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Asimov predicts demise of oak in California

The spending downturn in the US could herald a new style of Californian wine, New York Times columnist Eric Asimov has said.

Monetary concerns might influence the way people make wine in the region, he wrote in his blog on nytimes.com at the end of July: specifically that levels of new oak would drop.

‘I expect to see even more Chardonnays using no-oak marketing terms like naked, virgin, inox, metallico and the more plain-spoken unoaked,’ he said, saying he thought red wine would ‘follow suit’ and that winemakers also had an ‘economic incentive’ to use less oak.

He also said that wineries would stop using heavy bottles to impart high status, saying that aside from the environmental cost of shipping, they were ‘also more expensive’.

Asimov said there was, ‘significant discussion in California over whether the age of the $100 to $150 bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was over forever, or just temporarily.’

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Written by Oliver Styles

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